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Elizabeth Roehrig
Deputy Editor, The Studio

12 Important Decisions to Make Before Labor

Check these must-dos off your list ahead of your delivery date.
  1. Decide on a hospital or birthing center and take a tour.
  2. Think about the kind of delivery room environment you want (lighting, music, aromas).
  3. Choose what methods you’d like to use for pain management.
  4. Know whom you want in the room with you during labor and delivery.
  5. Consider whether you want a midwife or doctor, and if you’d like a doula.
  6. Learn about induction options and what you’re comfortable with, in case your doctor recommends induction.
  7. Get familiar with certain interventions ( forceps, vacuum, episiotomy) in case they become absolutely necessary for your or baby’s safety.
  8. Research cord blood donation and banking options and decide if any are right for you.
  9. Think about whether you want to delay clamping and cutting the umbilical cord, if medically possible, and whom you want to do the cutting.
  10. Decide if you want to save the placenta (you can bury it and plant a tree, turn it into placenta pills, photograph it).
  11. If you’re having a boy, decide whether or not you want him to be circumcised.
  12. Record all of your preferences in your birth plan and share it with your doctor.